Photo Collage

This branch of fabric leaves has hung in our dining room for the past year or so that we have lived in this apartment. I hung them last fall, loving the burst of color they added to the room. And then I just never replaced them (mostly because I never got around to making something to hang there instead and hated the idea of leaving the frame empty). The other day I saw this pin on pinterest, though, and finally got inspired.

I chose some of my favorite photos to print. This afternoon I lay them out across our sunroom floor, arranging them inside the frame until I was happy with the arrangement. I hammered tacks into the side of the frame, stringing thin wire between them, and then clipped the photos to the wire with clothespins.

The finished product is less rustic than the inspiration photo, but I like it. It’s nice to have something different hanging there now. And the photos remind me of beautiful things every day.

In other house decorating news….this weekend I succumbed to the pumpkin craze and bought two for our living room.

The Illumination of Transition

Beauty resides in the transition times

Like early morning
when gentle light creeps over the horizon
sweeping away the dark of night
silently slipping over rooftops and through gates
then suddenly throwing off restraint
golden light bursting forth
illuminating every growing thing

In that moment everything is drenched
in a special quality of light that illuminates
forms, bones, veins
the essential structures of our inner parts
like no other time

We witness a profound transformation in those moments
the ordinary suddenly revealed as extraordinary
It begs us to stop, to soak,
to be illuminated ourselves.

The Here and the Now

Though I have been pretty silent here again lately, I have not been completely absent from the blog world. For the past few couple weeks I have been working on launching a photo project with some friends back in Toledo.

I have been mulling over the idea of taking on a photo challenge for several years now. The idea first began to grow when a blog friend, Brooke, launched her “A Year of [Newly-Wedded] Mornings” project, chronicling her first year of marriage with a photo each morning. The photos were lovely, simple glimpses into the quiet moments at the beginning of her days. She shared that she was inspired by another blog started by two friends living on opposite coasts who shared a photo each morning (they later did an evening project as well and now are in the middle of a weekend project). I liked the idea of challenging myself to see and capture beauty every day, but I also loved the idea of using this as a tool to maintain and strengthen friendships over distance. When we moved over 700 miles away from most of our friends and family, the idea grew even more appealing. I wrestled with the limitations of my point-and-shoot camera at the time, though, and so set aside the idea for a while.

When I bought my new camera, though, I resurrected the idea and shared it with some good friends back in Toledo who, along with sharing a passion for community, creativity, and adoption, also love photography. Together we brainstormed ideas and put together the blog, deciding to focus on the beauty of each season. We’re three weeks into the project now and have finally worked out the formatting glitches.

And so, without further ado, I’d like to present….

(Click the picture to go to the blog)

New Things

I know I’m overdue for a garden post (it’s coming, I promise), but first I wanted to share about one of several exciting purchases recently….

A car? Yes, actually! We did just buy a car, the first one we have owned since we got married and the first one that I have ever owned in my life. It still feels novel that we can simply get in the car and go places rather than shuffling through bus schedules, lining up times, and waiting out at the stop. After years of walking, carpooling, and taking buses, this is a big deal for us.

The other big purchase for me, though, was a nice camera. A Canon Rebel  XS, to be specific. I have been wishing for one for years, but just couldn’t justify spending that much on a camera when we didn’t have a car. A couple weeks ago Derek and I looked at our budget and our savings, though, and decided that this summer we could look into it. Just a few days later my friend Jeff announced that he was selling his for a good deal. Amazing! It arrived yesterday morning and I spent the afternoon playing with settings and snapping around the house. I have a lot to learn about what the camera can do but I am enjoying experimenting so far.

Here is a sampling of pictures from yesterday:

So this might mean I might be posting more often again, now that I’ll have fancy new photos to share….maybe….

Spring Break In Photos

Spring break ended a week ago (with five straight days of rain and all my classes packed into one week, as a matter of fact), but I thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful weather and time off. Here’s some pictorial evidence of just that:


Por Las Ventanas

My older sister, who is also hopelessly addicted to photography (and quite talented at it, I might add), just opened an Etsy shop to sell some of her photos, you should check it out….



–verb (used without object), -grat·ed, -grat·ing.

1. To go from one country, region, or place to another.
2. To pass periodically from one region or climate to another, as certain birds, fishes, and animals: The birds migrate southward in the winter.
3. To shift, as from one system, mode of operation, or enterprise to another.
roving; nomadic; wandering.

Fix-It Friday

….or Saturday as the case may be?

I found this site today and thought it would be fun to participate,  especially with all the experimenting I’ve been doing with Picasa lately.

Here’s the original photo:

I edited it in Picasa by:

1) Increasing the shadows and highlights for more contrast and sharper colors

2) Warming up the color (because the winter landscape seemed to beg for some warming up)

3) Editing out the random pink line, as well as the white sign, with the retouch tool (I left the yellow signs because I liked the color they added)

4) Adding some soft focus to make the girl stand out more.

Here’s the finished product: